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By Leon Thompson and Miriam Raftery

October 18, 2015 (San Diego's East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes the 50th annual Borrego Days Desert Festival, Haunt Fest on Main Street, a trick or treat dog show, Lamplighters Theatre production of “Stage Fright,” and a melodrama in Julian titled “Keeping the Doctor Away.

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions including a Marshall Scary Scotty’s haunted amusement park trail, the Odeum guitar duo in concert, and much, much more!


Haunt Fest on Main Street Oct. 23

Get your costume ready for the fourth annual “HauntFest on Main” in downtown El Cajon on October 23rd from  5 to 10 p.m. Admission is free, but some rides will charge a nominal fee. This fun, family-friendly Halloween themed event features live bands, a haunted car show, a variety of local vendors, and food available for purchase. Visit the special children’s craft and game booths, face painting, outdoor movies, and enjoy carnival rides. You can also dress in your favorite costume and enter the costume contests for a chance to win prizes! For more information, check out

Borrego Days Desert Festival Oct. 23-25

The 50th annual Borrego Days Desert Festival will be held October 23rd through 25th. This year’s theme is “Those Were the Days.” Borrego Days Desert Festival has a long history of welcoming in the desert’s peak season, enticing locals to come together after a long hot summer and to welcome snowbirds back for a warm desert winter. On Saturday, festival goers will line the main street for the popular parade that includes a flyover, equestrians, marching bands, floats, clowns, dancers, and more.

There will also be live entertainment, arts and crafts, food vendors, children's activities, a beer and beverage garden, carnival fun zone with inflatable water slides, obstacle course, bull ride and more.  For details you can visit

Julian Melodrama Oct. 23-25

he Julian Triangle Club’s  59th annual October melodrama, “Keeping the Doctor Away”  or “Take Two Apples and See Me in the Morning” continues this weekend and next at the historic Julian Town Hall. 

This year’s director, Sandi Bennett, is cracking the whip over the all-volunteer local cast, who come from all walks of life to put on the traditional Melodrama and raise money for local charities and student scholarships.

There's always trouble when the villain comes in on the stage coach, and this year is no exception. Will the miners catch on to his dastardly, conniving plan to steal their gold? Will the sweet heroine be duped by him and will the handsome sheriff get there in time to save the day?

 To find out the answers to these and other questions, you can join in the booing and cheering audience participation, and see the variety of olio performances and sing-alongs between acts.

The remaining shows will be held Friday and Saturday nights at 7 p.m. with matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday  October 23-25.  For tickets ($10 for everyone over 12, children 4-12 are $5 (under 4 is free) and a family of 4 with children is $25) visit

Visionary Dance Theatre Premiers “Kaleidoscope” Oct. 23-24

Mounarath-Powell Productions brings to the stage the official evening-length Premiere of another San Diego-based dance company. Bottled Light Dance Theater, a contemporary dance company, presents Kaleidoscope at the Kwai Sun Studio (8380 Center Drive, La Mesa, CA 91942) on October 23rd-24th, 2015 @ 8pm.

Kaleidoscope is defined as “beautiful shapes continually changing pattern and colors.” 

Kaleidoscope is a performance capturing glimpses of real human experiences spanning from mourning to joy. Celebrate the possibilities of those moments lasting for mere seconds or expanding eons. Be brave enough to believe in life becoming beautiful again and again.


Trick or Treat Dog Show Oct. 24

The Alpine Stagecoach Lions Club is holding a “Trick or Treat” Dog Show on Saturday, October 24, at Summers Past Farms in Flinn Springs (15602 Olde Highway 80). The dog show runs from 1 to 4 p.m. with a costume contest, prizes, and trophies, food and fun—plus you can visit the pumpkin patch to pick your jack-o-lantern. All proceeds from this event go directly to purchase a seeing-eye service dog for someone in need. For details, see

Lions Club Pancake Breakfast Oct. 25 in El Cajon

The El Cajon Valley Host Lions Club will hold it's 25th annual Pancake Breakfast on October 25th from 8 a.m. to noon at the Ronald Reagan Community Center in El Cajon ( 195 East Douglas Ave.;  tickets $8).  The event includes live bluegrass music by the Shirthouse Band.  All proceeds from this event will go towards free eye testing and free glasses for the needy children in East County.

Trunk or Treat in El Cajon Oct. 28

Trunk or Treat in downtown El Cajon takes place on October 28th from 5-8 p.m. on Main Street at Magnolia Avenue and Prescott Promenade Park.  Classic cars, hot rods and motorcycles will be decorated with haunting themes as they compete to win trophies for the best decorations.   Guests are invited to dress up for the occasion – and candy for trick-or-treaters will also be on hand.  Learn more at

Marshal Scary Scotty’s Scare Trail Oct. 28-31

East County’s only haunted trail debuts this Halloween season at the abandoned Marshal Scotty’s amusement park in El Cajon (14039 Ridge Hill Road, at the Lake Jennings exit).  Rumored to be haunted by past park employees, Marshal Scary Scotty’s “Scare Trail” will be open October 28-31 from 6 to 11 p.m.

This year, see the bumper car carnage, try to stay in one piece through the slaughter trailer and the haunted park offices, visit the frightening Ferris wheel….and don’t forget to brace yourself as you walk through the remains of the death coaster.

Marshal Scary Scotty’s Scare Trail is packed full of spine tingling, heart pounding effects that organizers claim are so real they will keep you screaming for your life as you try to find your way out.

Sponsored by Saving Horses Inc., the event costs $10 for adults. Children under 12 are free, but the trail is not recommended for children under 10.   For the chilling details you can visit   

Now For A Preview Of Coming Attractions…

Sheriff’s Coffee With Community  November 5

This event allows the public to chat with the Rancho San Diego Station’s staff, deputies, crime prevention specialists and senior volunteer patrol members. Complimentary coffee and pastries will be served.

“Community outreach is a top priority of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. 

Members of the community should feel comfortable bringing problems related to safety and security to our staff,” a press release issued by the Sheriff’s office states. “Come out and make a positive difference in your community!” 

Meet at the Rancho San Diego Library, 11555 Via Rancho San Diego in El Cajon.  For More information call Nancy Ortiz at (619) 660-7009

Odeum Guitar Duo: Tour of Italy Nov. 6 at Cuyamaca College

The Grossmont Guitar Guild will present the Odeum Guitar Guitar Duo in a Tour of Italy concert on November 6th at 7 p.m.  The concert will be held in the Cuyamaca College Performing Arts Theatre (900 Rancho San Diego Parkway, El Cajon; tickets $10 general, $8 seniors/faculty, $5 students). 

Moxie Theatre presents The Curious Case of the Watson Intelligence Nov. 8-Dec. 4

Moxie Theatre (6663 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego) will present The Curious Case of the Watson Intelligence, opening November 8 and running through December 4.  The play tells the tale of four companions in a time-jumping tribute – Watson, the trusty sidekick to Sherlock Holmes, a loyal engineer who built Alexander Graham Bell’s first telephone, an unstoppable super-computer that became the reigning Jeopardy! Champ, and an amiable techno-dweeb who is looking for love.  For tickets and details, visit .

The Ramona Concert Association Presents The Robert Bonfiglio Harmonica Trio November 14

Robert Bonfiglio regularly performs with the world’s top orchestras and symphonies including the Boston Pops with John Williams and the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center in Wash. D.C. Called “the Paganini of the Harmonica” by the Los Angeles Times, Bonfiglio dazzles audiences worldwide with his constant reinvention of the harmonica. With his Trio of Stephen Benson on guitar and Joe Deninzon on the electric 7-string violin, they will perform classical, blues and jazz. Robert has appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, the Today Show and the shows of Larry King and Regis and Kathy Lee. (Check out his website. )

The concert will be held at the Ramona Performing Arts Center on the campus of Olive Peirce Middle School. (1521 Hanson Lane, Ramona) November 14 at 7:30 p.m.   For tickets and details on this and other upcoming concerts, visit

Circle Players present "Wrangler at Red Mountain Ranch" Nov. 13-14

The Circle Players of El Cajon will be performing “Wrangle at Red Mountain Ranch” November 13th and 14th at 7:00pm and November 15th at 2:00pm.  This mystery dinner theatre is set at a dude ranch and  attendees are encouraged to wear their western attire and have a rip-roarin’ good time!  Performances will be held at Richardson Hall, 551 Farragut Circle in El Cajon. 

All tickets are $20.00 and include a BBQ meal.  For reservations or information, please call (619) 588-5348, or e-mail  The Circle Players is part of the Neighbor to Neighbor program of the First Presbyterian Church of El Cajon.


That’s all for this week! You can find details on all of these events and more on our Calendar and in our Festivals and Events section online at

If you have an event you’d like added to our calendar, or if you would like to sponsor the Destination East County column on our website, or the Destination East County show on KNSJ radio, you can contact   Destination East County is the most-read feature on our website.

We’ll be back next week with more festivals, events and attractions in San Diego’s East County.

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